One recent rainy day, Mum and I decided to head out to a large shopping centre in the southern suburbs of Melbourne, just to browse and walk about a bit. Being practical, I thought 'Hmm while I am here, I may as well buy some new underwear as the current stuff is starting to look a little worse for wear and you just never know when you might need to look your best!' So we saunter into a store (dare I let you all know it was 'Best for Less'?? ) and I suggest to mum that she and I browse separately. Mum just looks at me and says matter of factly, "That's ok, I don't need anything, I'll come with you'.
I, wanting to buy underwear on my own, respond with 'Umm.. don't you need anything at all???.. like, not even to just have a look and see??"
Mum, without missing a heartbeat "No, I'll come with you"
This conversation is taking place as we walk closer and closer to the mens underwear section and I start to panic and get anxious- "Mum, I need to buy underwear, so... can you go away and look at stuff while I browse?". In fact I think it was fair to say that there was a lot of pleading in my delivery, which mum just ignored as she grabbed some boxer shorts off the rack and said "I'll help you. What about these?" I stood there in silent disbelief. Mum was now peering inside at the tag of the boxers she was holding, then looked up giving my expanding waistline a once over glance and said brightly "Oh these are your size as well!" Sheepishly and as quietly as I could get away with, I looked at the ground and said 'I wear briefs now mum'. "SINCE WHEN???" came mums loud cry. And yes, it was all downhill from there.
I only have myself to blame. Up until a few years back my mum AND my AUNTY brought my underwear for me. ALL of my underwear. You have to understand that having them buy my boxer shorts, singlets and handkerchiefs was an easy out for me ( and yes you read right - handkerchiefs!). You see my mother is ALWAYS asking 'what do you want for Christmas', seriously, always! One Christmas I recall being disappointed over a gift and mum seeing this and realising what it was I would have preferred said 'did you want me to get that for you, next Christmas?'..Then there was also the questions of, 'your aunty wants to know what you want for Christmas'......You know what, unless it is December, Christmas presents are not on my radar. These Christmas questions never stop, NEVER stop. They only become more frequent as the days get closer to Christmas, by June, you'll receive AT LEAST a weekly 'have you decided what you want for christmas yet?'question. So you can see, by being able to say 'oh, I need underwear' it was an easy out for me... I am not sure why I stopped, I guess I had so much underwear that it was not needed. In fact, I am sure that I had so much that I could have started my own underwear store for men with a 32inch waistline (who like me, might also be slowly but surely edging closer to a size 40)..... anyway, now I am in this awkward pickle.
No one wants to buy underwear with their mum. At least no MAN does. I kept looking at briefs and wondering if they were too fitted or sexualised and what would my mother think of them.... yes I agree, I obviously have issues! Mum did pick up a white pair of trunk-type fitted boxers and asked 'what about these'? Yep, white underwear.... 'Mum, there are reasons why you don't wear white underwear'. She just looks at me perplexed and then innocently asks 'what reasons?'..I think at this point I covered my face with my hands, and lowered my head as I shook it slowly from side to side. I just couldn't have THAT conversation with my mother...and yes, apparently I am a grown man. You see, I just imagined my mum saying really loudly, matter of factly and all the while, trying to be helpful 'well, you just need to shake IT properly or wipe yourself properly after you use the toilet! and you won't have that problem!' Yes, my mum is full of great practical advice.
Anyway to make matters worse, after I bravely brought some underwear (and in case you were wondering, I brought some square, loose fitting, genderless, non sexualised underwear that were as far removed as could be from the low hipster tight, form fitting white briefs that seemed to be placed at my mums eye level (we are a short family. I sometimes wonder if we are technically 'tall dwarfs' ), anyway... when we finally got to the cashier to pay for my non sexualised, nondescript undergarments.. my mum pulls out her seniors card and asks if the store gives a seniors discount.... The young sales assistant must have heard it all and responded with a nonchalant 'no sorry', to which my mother shot this poor girl down with a look of absolute contemptment. Mum then looks over at me and gives me one of those 'Can you believe this??!!' looks. She then lets out a loud unimpressed noise of sorts, then a 'TSK' as she shakes her head from side to side. All the while I was praying for the ground to open up and swallow me whole. I could see the headlines flashing before my eyes, 'forty year old bald man, shopping for underwear with his mother, dies at Best for Less' as the ground opens up beneath him'.
Maybe I should go back to having my mum and aunty buy my underwear for me? But then, knowing my luck they would now want to make an outing of it and we would all go together to shop for my underwear. I suppose if my cousin is off work that day as well, she could join us. Hell, why not have a whole extended family outing to help me buy my underwear? The more the merrier. I'll be forty one by then. I cannot wait.